Optimation Blog

Engineering Services in the USA

Posted by Bill Pollock on May 30, 2017 2:49:36 PM

Back in the 70s when I graduated with an engineering degree, a large percentage of the new graduates went to work for manufacturing companies.  A certain percentage went on for advanced degrees and ended up in research positions and academia, but much of the research was carried out by private companies building their own IP portfolios.  The exception to this was civil, structural and architectural graduates who might end up working for private engineering and design firms. 

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Topics: About Optimation, Mechanical and Process Services, Manufacturing, Resource Planning, Automation, Project Management, process design

21st Century Vendor Management in Industrial Automation

Posted by Steve Beyer on May 24, 2017 11:53:41 AM

We are a business that executes hundreds and hundreds of projects every year. These span the spectrum from simple to complex, urgent to critical, and small to large. As a vendor in industrial automation, we participate in these interactions as a supplier to prospective clients wishing to accomplish business goals. There are about as many ways to go about this as there are projects; however, there are certain parameters that yield more likely success more often. Let's look at them.

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Topics: Alliances, Purchasing, Automation, Business

Automation – Job Eliminator or Job Creator?

Posted by Bill Pollock on Feb 20, 2017 3:59:53 PM

In a quote attributed to Warren Bennis over a decade ago, it was stated that “The factory of the future will have only two employees, a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching any of the equipment.”  Perhaps the future he visualized is very near. 

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Topics: Manufacturing, Automation

An Immodest Proposal

Posted by Steve Beyer on Jan 19, 2017 4:16:40 PM

 

It strikes me, in recent days, that some of the most heated rhetoric is aimed at several “threats” to our American essence. That is: Russian hacking, class envy, and (gasp!) Automation!  They stand accused of challenging our very democratic foundations, tearing us apart as a people and turning human beings into commodities and turning us one against the other.

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Topics: Automation, Controls

What's in store for automation in 2017?

Posted by Mike Triassi on Jan 10, 2017 4:06:37 PM

As we erase the mismarked year on our check book (scratch out 2016 and mark down 2017), it's time to reflect on where things are headed for the new year.   Many believe it is going to be about “digitization" or adopting recent IT technology to maximize digital resources.  Each market space has its own take on it.

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Topics: Manufacturing, Trends, Automation, Internet of Things

Manufacturing Automation, Rockwell and Maverick

Posted by Bill Pollock on Oct 17, 2016 2:57:53 PM

We all heard the news last week that Rockwell Automation has purchased Maverick Technologies.  Rockwell is a leading manufacturer in North America (The Control/ARC List ranks them fourth).  Maverick Technologies is one of the leading systems integrators in the United States, and according to the press release, with revenue approaching 100 million dollars and over 300 employees.  (Control Engineering System Integrator Giants List for 2015 lists Maverick as the 5th largest SI in the USA with revenue of 68M). 

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Topics: Automation, System Integration, Rockwell

Automation's Impact on Today's Workforce

Posted by Steve Beyer on Sep 6, 2016 4:53:30 PM

This past weekend we as a nation celebrated Labor Day.  Americans observe Labor Day partly as a tribute to those who came before us in the workforce who established principles for equitable pay, safe work environments and reasonable conditions, and other improvements as new paradigms emerged.

Of course Labor Day is also the traditional beginning of fall and the end of summer so it’s a good time to take stock of things, and we look here at the role and value of "labor" which today is a lot different from where it was 100 years ago in part because of the efforts of those early pioneers of workers rights and the dawn of the new modern industrial age.

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Topics: Manufacturing, Trends, Automation, Internet of Things

Using data acquisition and control systems to monitor plant subsystems

Posted by Steve Beyer on Aug 16, 2016 3:57:43 PM

How well do you know your weak link?

If you operate a continuous manufacturing process, then you know the importance of maintaining your systems' operational performance. No doubt you gave a considerable amount of thought to your system architecture, understanding the critical parameters for producing the highest possible quality product.

You pay attention to safety, process control, reliability, and quality through constant monitoring of key performance indicators to oversee the health of your system in order to assure your products' quality.

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Topics: Data Logging, Automation, Controls

3 Ways to Measure the Value of Automation and Process Optimization

Posted by Steve Beyer on Feb 29, 2016 2:42:46 PM

ControlSystemControlsEngineerSiemens.jpg

Reading an industry insight report recently, I recognized a condition that plagues many companies operating in today’s manufacturing markets: Change, Complexity, and Costs are so dynamic in ways and at speeds previously unequaled.  How can our clients keep up with such challenging factors while achieving their goals and maintaining their advantages?  How about exceeding those same goals and increasing their differentiating values?

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Topics: Manufacturing, Automation, Test Systems

How to Get Started with your Industrial Automation Controls Project

Posted by Pete Sherer on Feb 1, 2016 11:49:38 AM

As one of the industrial automation companies that assists clients in maintaining their competitive edge, we frequently participate in capital upgrade projects for industrial automation controls that embrace the application of automation as a means to keep production costs low and product quality consistently high.  We have frequently been invited to engage in our client’s projects at the time they are studying how they manufacture their goods, and are asking the question, “What will be the most effective use of the latest automatic processing technology in my operation?”

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Topics: Automation, Upgrades, Controls

Welcome to the Optimation Blog

Tips, tricks and trends

The goal of this blog is to be helpful to readers by providing useful information about applications in industrial engineering, design and skilled trades, as well as industry knowledge. We're passionate about manufacturing in the United States. We have a little fun with it too.  

 

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